Sunday, March 04, 2012

Fetching Multiple Rows

When you need to retrieve multiple rows, consider deploying a multi-row fetch to transfer more than one row using a single FETCH statement. This capability was added as of DB2 Version 8.

A multi-row FETCH retrieves multiple rows at one time into column arrays in your application program. By fetching multiple rows at once, your request can become more efficient, especially for distributed requests. The performance improvement using multi-row FETCH in general depends on several factors, such as whether the request is distributed, the number of rows to be fetched, the complexity of the SELECT statement, and the number of columns being fetched.

Nevertheless, using multi-row FETCH (in local environments) can improve performance with a significant reduction of CPU time possible. Tests conducted by IBM have shown performance gains of between 25% and 40% processing 10 rows per SQL statement for programs processing a considerable number of rows. With such significant gains possible, why hasn’t everyone moved to multi-row FETCH? Well, perhaps because it requires programming changes. A multi-row FETCH requires a cursor defined with rowset positioning. A rowset is a group of rows that are operated on as a set. Such a cursor enables your program to retrieve more than one row using a single FETCH statement. By fetching multiple rows at once, your request might become more efficient, especially for distributed requests.

 To use this feature, you must DECLARE your cursor as using the WITH ROWSET POSITIONING parameter. For example

  FROM   DSN81010.DEPT

Furthermore, to use a multi-row fetch you must have defined the appropriate structures to receive multi-row data. This means you must have defined an array of host variables into which the fetched rows can be placed. Each column fetched requires its own host variable array into which its values will be placed. Be sure to match the array size to the rowset size. With the appropriate setup coded, FETCH statements can be written to retrieve more than a single row from the result set. For example


As you can see, the multiple-row fetch block is identical to a single-row-fetch block, except that there are two additional clauses—ROWSET and FOR n ROWS. The ROWSET clause specifies that the orientation of this cursor is rowset positioning (instead of single row). The FOR n ROWS clause specifies the size of the rowset to be returned. The maximum rowset size is 32,767.

Rowset cursors are very useful when you need to retrieve many rows or large amounts of data in distributed systems. By retrieving multiple rows with a single FETCH, multiple trips between the application and the database can be eliminated, thereby improving network performance.

To learn more about multi-row FETCH consider attending my upcoming webinar on the topic. This presentation will introduce and define multi-row FETCH, how to use it, and the performance implications of doing so. The presentation will also touch upon multi-row UPDATE. And it will introduce the new SoftBase Attach Facility MRF Feature, which allows you to implement multi-row FETCH without coding changes. To attend, sign up at this link:

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